UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Beaver victory means new beginning

Beaver victory means new beginning
Co-angler champion Chad Pipkens holds up his two biggest bass from day three on Beaver Lake.

ROGERS, Ark. - Chad Pipkens has always been competitive as a Walmart FLW Tour co-angler. In fact, he's qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup three times and notched five top-10 finishes. Today he closed the book on his co-angler career by winning the third Major of the season on Beaver Lake. And next spring, he'll start a new chapter as a professional bass fisherman.

Pipkens, a native of Holt, Mich., entered a couple events this season to stay sharp while at the same time saving money for next year's venture. But after catching a 10-pound, 12-ounce stringer on day one, he knew this tournament suddenly had substantial profit potential.

"I love fishing tough tournaments because every bite counts," Pipkens said after day one. "And I got the big bites that made all the difference."

Day two was much slower as Pipkens caught only a single keeper weighing 2 pounds, 1 ounce. He'd been down this road before - close but no cigar. In fact, he claims he had the fish on to win Table Rock just a month earlier. On day three at Beaver, Pipkens drew former FLW CEO Charlie Evans and the two Co-angler Chad Pipkens shows off his check and trophy for winning the FLW Tour Major on Beaver Lake.ran up the river to fish shallow, dirty water.

"I hadn't fished shallow all week, so it was definitely an adjustment," he said. "While Charlie was fishing close to the bank I tried to target the deeper side on the edges of lay-downs."

Earlier in the week, Pipkens had used an umbrella rig, a topwater walking bait and a drop-shot. But in the dirty water, he employed a 1/2-ounce white and chartreuse War Eagle spinnerbait. Almost immediately it was a success.

"At about 8 this morning I caught that big one and I had my other two fish a couple hours later. I knew then I would be tough to beat with over 20 pounds. I mean I caught a 4 1/2-pounder the first day and a 5-11 the last day on Beaver Lake. If that isn't meant to be I don't know what is."

Pipkens dedicated his huge kicker to his father, who is home having surgery on his Achilles. His three bass officially weighed 10 pounds, 2 ounces and he won by over a 4-pound margin. For a total weight of 22 pounds, 15 ounces, he earned $25,000.

"I only signed up for two events this year and this is my last one. I think someone is telling me to jump over to the other side. The trophy is great, but the bottom line is that I know what it takes to fish the pro side. That $25,000 allows me to put my deposits in and look for some other business deals knowing I'm going to fish."

Pipkens isn't completely done with the 2012 tournament season. In August, he's signed up to fish as a professional in the FLW Tour Open on the Detroit River and Lake Erie, his home waters.

"I'm really looking forward to that one. But what a way to finish up in my last co-angler event ever. I really can't explain what I'm feeling; it's amazing."

Lee retains second

Veteran co-angler Todd Lee of Jasper, Ala., caught two solid keepers Saturday fishing with pro Jay Todd Lee holds up a keeper largemouth caught Saturday morning.Yelas that weighed 4 pounds, 3 ounces. Lee and Yelas started their day on a shad-spawn bite in Prairie Creek and later ran up the river and fished bushes and lay-downs in dirty water.

Lee's key baits were jerkbaits and drop-shots. He also mixed in a topwater walker at times during the shad spawn.

This was Lee's 17th FLW Tour top-10 finish and his consolation prize is a check worth $7,500. His next top-10 finish will tie him for the all-time record held by his friend David Hudson.

Rest of the best

Local Rogers, Ark., fisherman Greg Sapp caught three keepers on day three weighing 3 pounds, 15 ounces to rise from fifth to third. Sapp's total weight was 16 pounds, 15 ounces and he earned $5,000.

Day-two leader Nick Hensley caught only one small bass Saturday weighing 15 ounces while fishing with pro Luke Clausen. Hensley finished the event fourth with a total weight of 16 pounds, 11 ounces. His second-consecutive top-five finish earned him $4,000.

Steven Meador of Bella Vista, Ark., finished in fifth place after catching three bass Saturday weighing 3 pounds, 9 ounces. His total weight was 16 pounds, 2 ounces and he earned $3,000.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers at the FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake:

6th: Lenny Francoeur of Rogers, Ark., 15-15, $2,500
7th: Kevin Gordon of Aiken, S.C., 15-11, $2,000
8th: Nick Loeffelman Jr. of Valles Mines, Mo., 15-10, $1,800
9th: Ken Keirsey of Owasso, Okla., 14-10, $1,700
10th: Alex Posey of Roswell, Ga., 14-9, $1,600

Tags: brett-carlson  co-angler-headline  2012-04-26-beaver-lake 

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